Ten days before Christmas, America noted the 218th anniversary of the Bill of Rights . . . and I hadn’t even finished my own holiday shopping. I might wish that I could get you a pristine, enforceable Bill of RIghts, but it’s not just up to me.
It’s up to Congress, the Judicial branch, and the Executive as well. That’s a lot of people who need to be “on the same page.”
But it shouldn’t be impossible. The Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments, are short and clear. They easily fit on one page.
What you may not know, however, is that these amendments were based, in part, on a previous version known as the Virginia Declaration of Rights. The earlier version is helpful to establish context and eludicate meaning.
Perhaps even more interesting is the fact that some of the Declaration’s enumerated planks lack specificity. They serve as general reminders of how government is supposed to operate. Consider the 15th plank, which states that “no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles.”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news on Christmas, but that sense of how government should work is no longer followed as the law of the land. Boy, I sure have a great idea for a New Year’s resolution.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.